Vegetarian food blog featuring nourishing home cooked recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Sour Cream and Chocolate Cake

Large Cakes | 10th March 2009 | By

This recipe came from an American friend who was so impressed with the cake she’d had in Port Townsend WA  that she asked the chef for the recipe.  He duly sent it to her and having read my blog, she subsequently passed it on to me. It sounded really interesting with its use of sour cream and vinegar -neither of which I’d ever used in cake baking before.

I didn’t want to make quite such a large cake and also had to work out American conversions, so my measurements are actually rather different to the original recipe.
As the original chef emphasised the importance of creaming the butter and sugar in this recipe, I tried to overcome my reluctance and give my least preferred method of cake making a go (deep sigh).  I do this from time to time to see if it really does make that much of a difference.  To be honest, I’m not convinced that it’s really worth the effort involved.  True, if the butter is nice and soft, it isn’t really that much work, it’s just the butter always seems to be rock hard, either because our house is so cold there is no where to warm it up, or I fail to get it out of the fridge early enough to soften it!
  • 4 oz unsalted butter
  • 8 oz soft brown cane sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 duck eggs
  • 6 oz plain flour (I used 4 oz wholemeal + 2 oz gluten free flour)
  • 2 oz cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarb of soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 4 fl oz warm water
  • 6 fl oz sour cream
  • 4 oz 70% dark chocolate
  • 4 oz sour cream
Method
Sieved dry ingredients.  Creamed (and creamed and creamed) the butter, sugar and salt.  Added the eggs 1 by one alternately with the flour & cocoa mix.  Then added the vanilla, vinegar and water alternately with the remainder of the flour.  Finally stirred in the sour cream.  Spooned this into a 9 inch (23 cm) round cake pan and baked for 35 mins at 180°C.  Put cake to cool on a wire rack and then made the icing.  Melted the chocolate in a bowl over simmering water, allowed to cool a little and then stirred in sour cream.  Spooned this immediately onto cooled cake and decorated with Minstrels (thought contrasting coloured sugar flowers would have been better here, but didn’t have any).
I have to say I am very impressed with this cake.  Maybe all that creaming paid off after all (oh no!) – the cake was both moist and light as well as tasting great.  The sour cream icing was fantastic, not sweet but highly flavoursome – a good foil for the cake.

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